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Building an e-Commerce Site to 5 Figures Per Month (Case Study)

This is a case study about Happy Florist — an online flower delivery store, based in Kota Kinabalu. I am documenting my entire strategy for you on this page month by month as the brand progress from zero to hero.

I’ll be taking this business to generate 5 figures per month, and ranking the first page on Google. I am sharing everything else in great detail. My strategy, revenues and results over time.

*back in July 2020*

Besides running my own agency, I also build a side-business with my business partner during this pandemic period. we have all the skills, expertise, contractors, and experience in launching a successful florist store —

“if we can launch the first store to 5 figures per month, we can duplicate the same success again, isn’t it?”

conversation between me and my business partner, Bryan

So during the pandemic period, we decided to launch the website again. This time I used Shopify to launch the online store instead of WordPress.

I even launched a website, makeyourfirstore.com so I can share whatever I’ve learned to people who are interested in setting up something similar.

Goals for this project

  • To generate RM4,000/month net profit
  • Keep operation lean and minimal
  • Use existing resource
  • Sell this business if we get any good offer from 3rd parties

We start by choosing a brandable domain name — HappyFlorist.my. (instant regret after purchasing, happyflorist.com is a adult site)

Month 1 – Setting up

I’ll skip the technical details, and show you only the interesting part.

Now we have a goal to work towards, we prioritize selling our first product. Everything else is secondary.

We kept the design minimal, only using the bare template from Shopify. The online store starts with only 1 product to sell, which is our Signature Design – Rose.

our first product — photo session at backyard

We spend the most time purchasing raw materials and taking product photos and make sure customers have a good experience during purchasing.

Had a few hiccups because Shopify wasn’t designed for local pick-ups, so some check-out sequence doesn’t make sense for our customers.

Setting up store

Register brand new Shopify store is easy. Upload my first product. Connect it to Billplz (accept FPX payment), added some content to the website, voila! Gao dim.

Bought a dedicated number for customer service, we answer most of the customer inquiries via WhatsApp.

I learn how to setup my first Shopify store via tutorials on YouTube.

Run Google Ads campaign — and getting first customer!

…within the first day of running the ads campaign. It’s like turning on the water tap, and water flows out immediately.

Google ads showing up in search results

Setting up the Google Ads campaign and running it profitably is easy for me because I create and manages many clients’ accounts from the agency side.

The key to any successful Google ads campaign is to get enough good data, implement new changes, and keep optimizing the campaign.

The rule of thumb is to spend more on the beginning, optimize the campaign, and scale it when the campaign turns profitable.

Check out our Google Ads campaign management service at Bingo Digital Marketing.

Other things we’ve done (not mentioned above)

I want to keep the blog short and straight to point, so I only show you some images.

wrapping paper. printed name cards. photoshoot session.
  • find delivery guy
  • added more sizes and chocolate for upsells
  • design logo and print stickers
  • work out product costing & sourcing for raw materials
  • figuring systems and workflows

What else did we manage to achieve?

  • getting our first sale
  • added first product
  • setup first Google Ads campaign
  • implement changes quickly based on customer’s feedback

Main challenges we’ve faced this month

  • Shopify plugins monthly subscription became expensive
  • need more data to show if the extra plugins are worth it

How many items we’ve sold? (profit and loss for July 2020)

Total orders: 19
Revenue: RM1,932.00
Purchases: (RM1348.83)
Expenses: (RM1575.35)

1 purchase not recorded on Shopify

*Revenue – total revenue generated from the products sold
*Purchases – raw materials etc
*Expenses – daily ad spend, delivery charges, Shopify subscriptions, charges from bank etc

Total earnings: (RM992.18)

Conclusion – and what’s next?

We are on a great head start because we have minimal overhead expenses. No need to invest in any start-up costs such as fridge, tables, raw materials as these are items already available from our contractor.

Month 2 – (updating soon)

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